We’d like to thank all of the pilots and other attendees for helping make the 2015 Mega Indoor Funfly at the Moncton Coliseum on February 7th a success! We had a great turnout and a lot of fun.
Special thank-yous go out to:
- The City of Moncton for providing the venue to us again. Thank-you Nicole Myers for managing to keep the pricing the same, providing the fencing and tables and making it easy.
- Terry Gauvin for handling the draw and for donating two gift cards.
- Great Hobbies for the donation of a gift card to the raffle.
- Colin Bell for flying his awesome demos throughout the day.
- Regis Landry, our Atlantic Zone Director for MAAC, for attending and for arranging the donation of a shirt for the pilot draw.
- Cato Hansen for preparing a great write up for the Zone newsletter.
We have all used the tiny helping hand with the two alligator clips and magnifying glass, but it’s often tricky to get the clips in the right place and two clips often aren’t enough.
You can easily and affordably create your own desk squid very easily. These helping-hands-on-steroids can have as many arms as you want, are incredibly flexible and can accomodate a wide variety of attachments. The possibilities are practically endless.
You will need:
- 1/2″ Flexible CNC Lathe Cooling Pipe. You can find these on eBay for approximately $10 for six 12-inch pipes, shipping included.
- A base. I chose a 5″ x 12″ x 1/2″ piece of oak because it looks nice, is easy to work with and is dense enough for accurate tap threads.
- 2″ alligator clips. I bought a pack of four from Home Depot in the electrical section for about $3.
- A 1/2NF20 tap and 29/64 drill
Assuming you have access to the tap and drill, the parts for this project cost less than $20.
Drill and tap the holes on the base, then screw in the flexible pipes. Insert the aligator clips into the tip of the pipe. You may need to enlarge the holes in the tips slightly to accomodate the clips, but you want a firm fit.
You can use any attachment that you can fit into the tip, or you figure out creative ways to attach just about anything you might need: a light, a magnifying lens, a laser pointer, a clamp – you name it.
FPV, or First Person View, is a new segment of the RC hobby that involves using a video camera and video link to operate a radio controlled vehicle. This can include airplanes, helicopters, multicopters, and even cars, trucks, and boats!
The perspective is that of being in the driver’s seat and must be experienced to be fully appreciated. To enhance the illusion, there are special video goggles that place video screens close to your eyes so that you feel truly immersed. The first time I tried to pilot my tricopter using FatShark video goggles, I literally fell out of my chair and had to land and take a break before trying again; my brain had initially rejected the virtual environment being detached from my physical body experience. A subsequent flight was no problem, but it just shows how realistic the visual sensation of flying is.
FPV is first and foremost a visual experience. The flying is actually secondary to the visual environment you are exploring. Because of this, the traditional role of the club field as a designated place for RC piloting is changed. FPV pilots seek out beautiful places to explore from the air.
FPV involves RC piloting, electronics, software, amateur radio and videography. Because of it’s multi-disciplinary nature, there is a tremendous amount of information to absorb and significant complexity. Rather than jump into a full blown FPV setup, it is recommended that FPV pilots progress incrementally starting with a basic airframe without video, then adding a camera, then a video transmitter and ground display, etc. In this way, you can gain good working knowledge along each step and mitigate risk and costs.
If you are interested in learnign more about this fascinating new aspect of our hobby, you can search for FPV on Youtube and browse through FPV related forums such as fpvlab.com or rcgroups.com (video piloting subforum). Please be sure to take the time to inform yourself through research before buying equipment.